Footy Dressing Room

What is the most sensible destination for Hazard?

In Opinion on May 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm

The outspoken Belgian has made it clear that his future lies in England. After ruling out Bayern Munich he is left with a choice between Premier League champions Manchester City, European Cup winners Chelsea and Manchester United. But what move would maximise his potential?

Eden Hazard

The Lille winger has been quick in detailing his criteria. He wants games and he wants to be played on the wing. He believes his versatility will work against him as he fears some managers may be inclined to play him just behind a striker.

Getting games should not be a problem. There is room in all three teams for someone of his quality. Even in City’s team of superstars Hazard is likely to be favoured over Samir Nasri on one of the flanks. His only concern is that poor form is more likely to be punished at City. Assuming Mancini sticks with Aguero and Tevez upfront and Silva on one flank, Hazard will face stiff competition from Nasri, Adam Johnson, Mario Balotelli and James Milner.

Alternatively Chelsea have a shortage of wingers which may reassure Hazard of a first team place. Salomon Kalou’s impending release leaves Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Florent Malouda. Hazard would comfortably play ahead of Sturridge and Malouda especially. Furthermore, when Chelsea are weak in the middle, Mata and Malouda are often deployed in central roles. This would solidify his status in the team even more.

Old Trafford would certainly be an interesting destination. There is no doubt that he would be a valued first team player and Alex Ferguson’s record of developing youngsters is unquestionable. However there is a distinct possibility his desire of playing on a wing would be compromised. United are craving a midfield maestro with creative flair. Hazard fits the bill, but I doubt he would be willing to play this role. United already have three well matched wingers fighting for two places in Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia. Hazard could well be put off by the prospect of playing out of position.

From Hazard’s perspective, he would be most suited to a move to Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge he is guaranteed a starting place on a wing for the European champions. A move to City would be worthwhile so long as he can take the setback of being rotated in and out of the side. His comments so far have suggested that he is not willing to play second string in any team.

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